Do you know why people love broccoli cheese soup? Because it’s cheesy and thick and comforting. Do you know what most of the recipes I’ve tried online aren’t? Cheesy and thick, so they can’t be comforting. I have tried *many* recipes, copycat recipes, big name blogger recipes, major food site recipes, little food blogger recipes, and couldn’t find “the one”. I wanted that recipe that was going to give me the broccoli CHEESE soup I was looking for, but you know what they say… if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So I did, and now I’m sharing with you so you don’t have to be disappointed by thin broccoli cheese soup recipes either.
Want to know my big secret? Cheese. That’s it. A roux (the flour butter mixture used to thicken this soup) helps, but there’s only so far flour can go and it just can’t thicken this enough to make 6 ounces of cheese in 12 cups of broth into a creamy soup. I’m totally making those numbers up by the way. I just know most broccoli cheese soup recipes call for a lot of broth and not a lot of cheese. This is not the time to be stingy. This is the time to work that arm, grate that cheese, and toss it in with abandon! Add a little extra for topping, it’s okay. This is a treat soup, comfort food, so indulge, enjoy it, and then make something healthier for tomorrow.
Oh, and while we’re at it, can I request we not use low fat cheese because that mess is not delicious. We can do part-skim mozzarella, but fat free or light cheddar has a “flavor” that you don’t need messing with your delicious fresh broccoli. Use full fat for this one. And I’m also going to suggest you save yourself a little money and skip the pre-shredded cheese. Yes, it’s work to grate the block, but pre-shredded cheese is usually tossed with cornstarch or something else to prevent the cheese from sticking to itself. You want the cheese you add to the soup to melt smoothly, so you don’t want the store bought shredded cheese coating or you might have a slightly lumpy soup. Grating goes pretty quickly if you use a food processor or a nice sharp box grater.
Since the weather here hasn’t quite gotten the memo that it’s spring, there’s still time to enjoy a little soup, so get to it! 😉
- 4-5 cups chopped broccoli (I used one medium head)
- 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter + 2 tbsp
- ¼ c all-purpose flour
- 2 cups soup stock of your choice
- 2 c evaporated milk (or 1½ cups whole milk and ½ c half and half)
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 oz white cheddar, grated
- salt and white pepper to taste
- Melt 4 tbsp butter in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Have your stock and milk ready.
- Push your onions to the side of your pot, and add the additional 2 tbsp butter. When the butter is melted, make your roux by whisking the flour into the butter. Cook for a minute or two and then add your liquid slowly, while whisking constantly so you don't end up with lumps. Once you have about a cup of broth whisked into the butter/flour/onions, add the rest of the liquid.
- Add the broccoli. It will look like you don't have enough liquid, but you do. The broccoli cooks down quite a bit.
- Bring the soup just to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 30 minutes until the broccoli is tender. If you haven't already grated your cheese, now is a good time to do it.
- When the broccoli is cooked, stir the cheese into the soup in three batches, making sure all the cheese melts after each addition.
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Serve immediately.